Blog Entry

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 11:07 pm
Three days before the NBA draft, here’s a smattering of news, info, and informed opinion culled from conversations with team executives, agents, and others in the know:

• Sources would be stunned if the Cavaliers did anything but use the No. 1 pick to select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. He’s the perfect package of talent and presence to shoulder the burden of carrying the franchise to new heights after the departure of LeBron James. The Cavs, however, are more than open to trading the No. 4 pick.

• The Timberwolves are comfortable with the outstanding consolation prize that comes with the No. 2 pick, and will get one of the only impact players in the draft in Derrick Williams. Plus, they won’t have to deal with the burden of having to choose between Irving and Williams. The Cavs, after all, could be wrong. The Wolves can’t. The only way Minnesota trades the pick is if someone “blows them away,” according to a source, and that would have to be a trade involving a superstar-caliber player.

• The Jazz and Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight are a sensible match with the third pick, as Utah looks to replace the gaping hole left by the trade of Deron Williams to the Nets. Some execs have gotten indications that Utah also is considering Enes Kanter.

• The Raptors, who agreed in principle Monday with defensive-minded coach Dwane Casey to replace Jay Triano, are sending out signals that they’re all about Bismack Biyombo with the fifth pick, but rival executives are skeptical. One such exec is banking on Toronto taking 6-11 forward Jan Vesely, regarded as the best international prospect in the draft.

• If Toronto passes on Biyombo, some execs believe he could slide as far as 14-18, and the Knicks, with the 17th pick, are known to be high on him. But the apple of the Knicks’ eye is BYU sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette, and New York officials are trying to compute how far they’d have to trade up for him and what it would cost. The Knicks also like Michigan point guard Darius Morris, and one exec said the word Monday had New York looking into trade-up options for Georgia Tech shooting guard Iman Shumpert.

• One rival executive is “almost positive” the Wizards will take Kanter with the sixth pick, or look to trade down. Washington would grab Biyombo with the 18th pick if he’s still available, and otherwise would be comfortable with Kenneth Faried.

Kings officials are split between Fredette (beloved by ownership) and Alec Burks (favored by the basketball staff).

• The Pistons have a key workout scheduled for Tuesday, hosting Biyombo, Marcus Morris, Tristan Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard. Word among rival execs is that Detroit will take one of those players or Kemba Walker with the eighth pick.

• The Bobcats are said to be all over Chris Singleton with the ninth pick, but would take Marcus Morris if they’re stuck. Nicola Vucevic would be Charlotte’s choice with the 19th pick if he’s still there.

• It’s sort of the opposite situation with the Bucks, who are looking to trade the 10th pick but would take Burks if they can’t.

• The Warriors are enamored of Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson, which would seem to cast doubt on GM Larry Riley’s denials of exploring trade scenarios for Monta Ellis. Singleton and Biyombo also are on Golden State’s list with the 11th pick.

• Singleton would be the pick for Utah at No. 12 if he’s still there, sources say.

• The Suns appear to be focused on Thompson or Walker with the 13th pick. But this is the area to start thinking about Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas, whose touchy buyout situation is the only thing knocking him out of being a top-five pick.

• The Pacers appear to be comfortable with either Thompson or Fredette with the 15th pick, but if neither is there, they’d take Markieff Morris, sources say.

• Jordan Hamilton appears headed to Philly with the 16th pick, and sources said Monday the Timberwolves have offered point guard Jonny Flynn in a package deal for swingman Andre Iguodala. Philadelphia officials, however, have let it be known that they are not interested in a salary-dump deal for Iguodala and want an impact veteran in return.

• Faried also is on the Trail Blazers’ wish list at No. 21, but the Blazers also are said to be high on Marshon Brooks.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:09 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

I would love to see the Cavs draft Williams #1, and then put the ball in Minnesota's court.  Would they REALLY draft another PG?  Would anyone try to move up to take Irving?  I see the worst case scenario being that the Cavs end up with Williams and Brandon case scenario getting Irving at #4. They they could trade one or two of their current PF's.  Or get better by trading Williams if they really aren't that high on him...because other teams appear to be.  I think drafting Williams give the Cavs more options to make this a memorable draft, considering the lack of talent compared to other years.  Don't get me wrong, I think Irving could be a stud...just want the Cavs to get the most out of this draft, and taking Kanter or some other questionable center at #4, seems a little risky.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:01 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

I would like to point out about the Raptors thinking of picking Biyombo for their fifth pick in the draft, personally it is a bad pick, it will take some time for Biyombo to develop, and most likely had to do time in the D league first or in an international team. Rather waste their pick i really think they should go and check the rankings and get the best possible option at the forward position who can shoot the ball better. Even though Casey is supposedly known for being defensive coach, the team he is inheriting is one of the worse defensive teams and plays to their strong points which is offense. I do not think he alone can change this team over night, So i think they should focus on the guard situation as well and use their fifth pick on that position, As Calderon and Barbosa are one of the more injury prone players in the nba today.

Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:12 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

JimF13, I'm not a fan of BB going 5 either but get your facts straight man, Colangelo has been great at drafting - Davis, Derozan, Stoudamire, Marion, Nash etc.  I'm confident BC will make the right move.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:18 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Rumors abound..I have also heard on local radio that the Lakers would package the #3 pick and Bynum for Dwight Howard.  Their new frontline would be Howard, Love, Artest, and Odom off of the bench.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:51 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

My Raptors are looking at a guy at #5 who will drop out of the lottery if they don't take him? Sounds like a typical Toronto move- waste a draft pick.

Toronto can not afford any more stupid moves. Those of us who still root for them are pretty much fed up.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:13 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

@KLM11: Link? And the Wolves have the #2 pick not #3 and I really doubt they would be looking to get rid of Love. Also, Pau made about $18 mil this year as opposed to Love making about $3.5 mil. Why would they pay more to get Pau and then keep losing? They should just keep building around Love and now Rubio and hopefully get Williams at the #2 pick.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 1:09 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Love makes the Lakers tougher down low than Gasol? You are insane. Love takes 25% of his shots from the perimeter and plays no defense. I know Gasol was disappointing in the playoffs, but he's still a much, much bigger presence inside than Kevin Love and almost any other PF in the NBA.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:45 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Cavs go Williams 1.  Knight 4.  We're replacing the greedy "King" with a valiant "Knight."  Not bad.

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:42 am

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

No, you dont get rid of Kobe.  If they can keep Fish till the end, they can keep a legend till the end.  The Bulls did not get rid of Jordan while he still had value.  Kobe is the Coach of that team. Brown can accomplish a lot with him, but less without him.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:49 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

I dont think Minny would be wise to trade Love for Gasol even straight up, forget about throwing in the 3rd overall pick. Love is still on the rise and I think he's already better than Gasol. That would be a terrible trade for Minnesota IMO.

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